An attempt by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan to justify the forced exclusion of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) from Azerbaijan SSR by the process of Azerbaijan’s secession from the USSR is evidence of his legal illiteracy or deliberate deceit, reads the appeal of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Trend reports Aug. 28.
“If the Armenian prime minister intends to constantly trick his people, this is his business, but he won’t succeed in deceiving the world community, especially when it comes to the legal side of the issue,” the ministry says.
"First, the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as an autonomous region as part of the Azerbaijan SSR was enshrined in the USSR Constitutions of 1936 and 1977, and the territory of the union republic couldn’t be changed without its consent. In connection with the unlawful actions by the Armenian nationalists aimed at secession of the NKAO from the Azerbaijan SSR, the Supreme Council of the USSR in its decisions unequivocally recognized the impossibility of changing the existing borders. Thus, the attempts to tear Nagorno-Karabakh away from the Azerbaijan SSR were accompanied by an obvious violation of the USSR Constitution and, therefore, didn’t produce any legal results,” reads the document.
“Second, the USSR law 'On the procedure of solving issues related to the withdrawal of a union republic from the USSR' dated April 3, 1990, which the Armenian side often refers to, aimed at regulating relations within the USSR by establishing a certain procedure, which the union republics should have followed in case of leaving the union,” the ministry noted.
“The withdrawal of a union republic from the USSR could be considered completed only after passing through a complex multi-stage procedure and, ultimately, the adoption of an appropriate decision by the Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR. However, the mentioned law was never applied, and not a single union republic, including Azerbaijan and Armenia, used the exit procedure provided by the law, " says the ministry.
"Third, after the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan joined the UN, as well as other international organizations, within its administrative borders of the times of the USSR, which, accordingly, were recognized by the world community as the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Contrary to the claims of Armenia, the states that signed the Alma-Ata Declaration of December 21, 1991, on the goals and principles of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Armenia, accepted the obligation to recognize and respect the territorial integrity of each other and the inviolability of existing borders," reads the appeal.
The document emphasizes that regardless of the position of one or another Armenian leader, Azerbaijan will restore sovereignty over its internationally recognized and original territories, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region, since justice and law are on the side of Azerbaijan.
“This hour will come, and taking into account the development of the situation in the region, it can occur at any time,” the ministry added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.